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Francis Wilkinson: Arizona Republicans Propose Granting Citizens License to Shoot Migrants

Republicans (Credits: WFAE)

Arizona Republicans recently proposed a bill that would legalize shooting and killing trespassers on private land, expanding an existing law allowing the shooting of home invaders to apply outside the property line, even on vast properties extending for hundreds of acres.

While the bill does not directly mention migrants, it is widely understood to target them. Critics argue that this legislation effectively legalizes the killing of undocumented migrants suspected of trespassing.

Supporters of the bill argue that property owners should have the right to defend their land, citing cases like that of Kevin Monahan in rural New York, who shot and killed a young woman he mistook for a trespasser.

Arizona Republicans (Credits: ABC11)

Monahan claimed he felt “under siege” and responded with lethal force. In Arizona, a rancher awaits trial for shooting at unarmed migrants crossing his ranch, resulting in one fatality.

Former President Donald Trump has been a vocal proponent of anti-immigrant rhetoric, falsely claiming that the United States is being overrun by migrant crime.

Trump’s comments contribute to a climate of fear and aggression towards migrants, further fueled by the Arizona bill and similar measures. Critics argue that these actions are part of a broader strategy to justify violence against migrants, portraying them as invaders and targets for lethal force.

While Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is likely to veto the bill if it reaches her desk, the underlying issues of rage, fear, and aggression towards migrants are deeply ingrained and are likely to persist.

Critics warn that such legislation not only promotes violence but also undermines fundamental principles of justice and human rights.

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